An inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and other leaders of the
civil rights movement, Howard Thurman was a crucial figure in the advancement of African
Americans in the 20th century. Until now, however, he has not received the full biographical
treatment he deserves. In Against the Hounds of Hell, Thurman scholar Peter Eisenstadt offers a
fascinating exploration of the life of this great religious thinker and activist.
The first significant African American pacifist, Thurman was the first
African American to meet Mahatma Gandhi. An early and outspoken feminist, environmentalist, and
advocate for social and economic justice, he was one of the first and most insistent mid-20th
century proponents of racial integration. At the same time, he was a key figure in the emergence
of mysticism and "spirituality" as an alternative to formal religion. Against the
Hounds of Hell will at last establish this multifaceted historical personage as a leading figure
of 20th century American politics, religion, and culture.